The Royal Treatment
Every now and again, we all deserve the royal treatment. This month’s travel destination is all about royalty as we check out London, England! The first step for our journey must, of course, start with the best of the best: a tour of the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace located in one of London’s southern boroughs, Westminster. Every horse enthusiast will be in awe of the gorgeous horses and the fleet of carriages responsible for transporting the Queen and the Royal family. Take a tour and bring the family along to see the historic Gold Stage Coach, first used by George III in 1762; the Mews’ newest stagecoach for the Queen, The Diamond Jubilee; see the livery that the coachmen wear for the various occasions in which they drive the Queen; meet the steeds in the stables; and even have the kids tack up a wooden pony.
Though many show jumping fans will want to pay tribute to Ian Miller’s Grand Prix champion, Big Ben, London’s timeless clock is unfortunately closed until 2021 for tours. However, travelers can get the best view of Big Ben and some of London’s most classic monuments from the London Eye. The United Kingdom’s number one paid visitor attraction—and holding that title for over a decade now—takes sightseers on a ride in the Ferris wheel’s capsules for a memorable experience and a great photo op.
If you happen to be in London on a Sunday and have a free morning, we suggest you take a stroll down Columbia Road. Open rain or shine, the road becomes a cornucopia of flowers from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lined with over 60 independent shops, tourists and residents enjoy a stroll amongst beautiful flowers and visit shops, galleries, and pubs along the road. Amongst these shops is Café Columbia, which has the best bagels around. The family-run business has been here for over 30 years and is full of the best quality bread with cheese and meats that will make your mouth water when you walk past their window. We highly recommend one of their classics, smoked salmon and cream cheese.
When you’re ready for a bit of a bigger meal, we recommend heading over to the London Shell Co. This one is great for tourists, as you don’t actually eat in a restaurant, but aboard the company’s boat, the Prince Regent. With the ever-changing menu, even locals enjoy taking a leisurely cruise along the Regent’s Canal, getting to see locations such as the London Zoo and Regents Park.
Finally, for our last dining location, it wouldn’t be a real London experience without hitting at least one pub. The Blacksmiths is a great place to get a fantastic meal, a pint of your favorite brew, and enjoy the atmosphere in downtown London. You can’t go wrong with the organic honeydew beer battered fish and chips, but another staple is the Blacksmiths’ gourmet beef burger.
The avid tourist may underplay finding somewhere to rest their head after a long day, but for our trip to London, we go all out. If this trip is all about feeling royal, then why not stay just across the street from the Queen herself—The Rubens at the Palace is open for those who want exactly that. The five-star hotel has posh and polished rooms, 24-hour room service, three restaurants, two bars, and even allows pets. If you’re going to London for the royal treatment, this is certainly the place to stay.